Originally posted January 11, 2011.
The political left has turned the Arizona shooting into a cudgel to beat the Tea Party with. Without any evidence whatsoever that the deranged gunman had any connection to the Tea Party, Sarah Palin or even that he holds conservative ideals, the political left has begun assaulting all of the above without rest. As Rahm Emanuel said, don’t let a crisis go to waste.
Heading up the outrage are, as Jonah Golberg writes in the L.A. Times, “partisan ghouls such as Keith Olbermann,” who are “exploiting this horrific crime,” by saying that “any rhetoric or writing or images that contributed to it must be stopped and those who don’t accept blame and then repent (specifically Palin) must be, in his words, “dismissed from politics.””
The target of the killings was Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, by all reports a well liked representative of her people who had such strong popularity in her conservative district that she even won there during the massive GOP sweep 2010. Along with Giffords were injured dozens and at least 5 were killed, including a nine-year-old girl.
Jared Lee Loughner, the young man arrested in the killings has apparently been obsessed with Giffords since 2007 when she didn’t answer his question at a town hall meeting. Apparently the question was absolute nonsense.
The left is calling for a whole host of new laws, including curbs on free speech sponsored by Congressman Robert Brady from Pennsylvania. In Mr. Brady’s mind, political rhetoric is responsible for a crazed gunman’s actions, and so therefore the entire country’s constitutional rights ought to be negated.
This is sure to be the case with gun rights as well. They are already under assault from the left and the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence (not related to Congressman Brady from above). The Brady Campaign has already begun using the tragedy in its political advertising, and in press releases hammering its opponents. This is political opportunism at its most disgusting.
The Brady Campaign wants to ban firearms. Chief on their target list (can we write that anymore Mr. Brady?) are weapons with extended magazines like those used in the Arizona massacre. While it is true that nut jobs should not have guns, banning weapons for all of society is the wrong way to go about protecting people. Look to Britain where guns are illegal and now only the criminals have them. Or, for an even scarier view, look to Mexico where guns are everywhere, even though gun control is very strict.
During prohibition whiskey, beer and all manner of hooch were available readily to those who wanted to drink. Homemade bathtub gin and imported liquor still made its way to those willing to break the law, just as cocaine and heroin do today. Prohibition of weapons, or drugs for that matter, hasn’t worked anywhere in the world yet. For a read on how bootleggers and moonshiners skirted prohibition, click here.
Take a look at these magazines for the 9mm Glock pistol. Do they look very hard to build? I’m sure if moonshiners in the 1920s could master the chemistry of alcohol in their bathtub, that some enterprising criminal would easily be able to build extended magazines for handguns if they were to be banned.
The point is, that neither political speech nor the right to bear arms is responsible for the tragic deaths of those killed in Tucson. Outlawing one or both will not bring back the victims. A crazed murderer with no grasp of reality killed those people, and the left and right should take a cue from the President and unify behind the families of those slain, and pray for those that are in recovery.